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Cyber-Crime or Computer-Crime is the use of technology as an instrument to commit illegal ends. Due to this, we all need to become more Cyber Aware. The most common crime that hits the news would be; hacking. Hacking is a very loose term and is often used as an umbrella for all technology related crimes.

Due to the rise in the use of technology, the rate of crime influenced by technology has also increased. This is a natural growth that was as expected. However, no one was prepared for the current situation we are in.

Why you should be Cyber Aware.

Cyber-Crime is such a varied instance, it is hard to exactly describe what counts as Cyber-Crime. What we can say though is that there are a lot of things out there that can help individuals commit Cyber-Crime. This is why we should all be more Cyber Aware to be able to spot potential problems and dangers sooner.

Even though the likes of NHS have been hit by serious Cyber-Crimes recently. Businesses and people alike are still with the same attitude. The attitude of “it won’t happen to me”. The harsh truth is that the chance of it happening to you is growing. If you aren’t Cyber Aware the odds increase even more.

The majority of individuals believe the risk of Cyber-Crime can be severely reduced by getting the correct IT hardware or the best security software. It is a correct statement that getting the best out of these two solutions will reduce the risk. Unfortunately, it isn’t just down to equipment. The main problem is the users and the operations that guide them. Bringing up the rear is the equipment used.

Employees of a business, and you in your every day lives, need to be Cyber Aware.

How to be Cyber Aware.

There are many things that you as an individual can do to become more Cyber Aware. Being more Cyber Aware will protect you in the long run, from all kind of things. Read on to find out what you can do to change your Cyber habits.

I have decided to just mention two of what I believe are the best things to change right now, to protect you, your family, your business and your data.


Updates are vital because they protect your software and devices from potential exploits. Exploits are methods of using a device or software’s weakness to your advantage. An example of this would be a piece of software has a backdoor, this is usually locked but in this case the developers forgot. Because the backdoor has been left unlocked, anyone can waltz in and take control such as an attacker. The developers have realised their mistake and have since sent out a repair-man to add a padlock to the backdoor. This is where the end-user can be the problem, if the user rejects the offer of help from the repair-man, the backdoor could continue on without it’s padlock for quite some time.

Things to Update:

  • Operating System; such as Windows, Android or iOS
  • Web Browser; such as Firefox or Chrome
  • Email Client; such as Outlook or Thunderbird
  • Anti-Virus; such as AVG, Avast or Norton

Email Password

Your email account is in my opinion the most important piece of data you have in your possession. Everything you now do digitally will more than likely ask for your email address; whether it is just to link it to an online account or for it to be the username for an online account. Either way, your email address is linked to a lot of things.

This is why your Email Password should be the most secure of them all.

Still unsure why? Your email can be used to reset a lot of your account’s passwords. Sometimes the places you visit online won’t ask for security type questions to reset your password, a lot of them will only ask for youremail addres. This is because, you need access to your email to then proceed and change your password elsewhere. If someone has access to your email account, they can have access to a whole lot more without much trouble. It isn’t just the fact that they can reset your passwords. By having access to your personal email account, they will then have access to personal information that could then be used to access areas that do require more information.

A good strong password

It is key as part of being Cyber Aware, to be aware of what makes a good strong password. At the end of the day, it shows how many people don’t take online security seriously when one of the most popular passwords, is; password.

Many places ensure that you have to use more than just lowercase letters, maybe they want you to have at least one uppercase letter. Password. Or maybe an uppercase letter and a number; Password1. Somone may even ask for an uppercase letter, a number and a symbol; Password1!. This is basically still the same password, “password crackers” are becoming smarter. The algorithms they use can easily find commonly used passwords, and then the commonly used alternatives that would comply with password complexity requirements. Password1! would be cracked just as quickly as “password.

An ideal password would consist of 3 or more unrelated words that would not be typically found in the English dictionary. The reason for this is a lot of password crackers perform dictionary attacks to try and find the passwords faster. If the password consists of words that are not in your standard dictionary, the harder it will be to crack. On top of these 3 words, it would also be helpful to include uppercase letters, numbers and symbols to ensure you comply with password complexity requirements set by your email provider.

What to Look for.

Cyber-Crime is constantly adapting, weaknesses get strengthened so the attackers have to look for alternative routes. Whereas some attackers will soley aim to exploit waknesses, some will try and trick the end user to willingly give up vital personal information. This could be through phishing or social engineering. They key thing to remember is, if you think there is even the slighest possibility that something you have been sent is dodgey. The likelihood is, that it is indeed dodgey. Trust your gut.

There will be more on the way regarding IT Security, there is so much everyone should be aware of, we will try and help as much as we can to make you Cyber Aware.

If you are interested in knowing more visit CyberAware and NCSC. If you are a business owner and want to know more about how you can protect your business, you can visit the Cyber Essentials site, or get in contact with us here.

DNA IT Solutions currently offer 2 varying levels of Helix Support, however, both of them have a focus on your security. Check out what we can offer you on our Helix Solutions page or read our latest blog post, which explains the importance of having IT support.